What a trip this is. I first thought it was just about selling a house and looking for a new one. Little did I know what else was in store. I give myself some leeway, seeing as the last time we did this, we turned one house in for another in just five short weeks. It was quick and decisive.
I just realized that it was father’s day weekend 24 years ago, that we drove up Youngs Hill Road and found this house, and then one year later, June 16th we moved up for good. Today is June 15th, father’s day weekend. I’m not sure that portends anything, but yes, I do, to be honest. Here’s another story that falls in the same category. A few days ago, I met my friend for lunch at this dinky cafe we go to between our two homes. On the screen door, as we were about to enter, there was a Luna moth big and bright and bold firmly attached to the screen, totally blase about the customers coming and going ,and showing no awareness of any harm coming to her. The first week of moving to Windward Farm, I saw my very first Luna moth holding fast in the same way to the screen door outside our bedroom. And here’s another. When we first moved in that summer, a woman named Delphine, who had a little girl about the same age as Sara, came to say hi and offered to have us over for dinner. Months went by and I never heard from or saw here again until the end of the school year. We were sitting next to each other at the final assembly and she apologized for never following through on her invitation. I wasn’t so forgiving to be truthful. I didn’t mind making her squirm. I needed that invitation back then during a very lonely time of being new in a strange place. Since then, time has softened my position and I no longer hold a grudge.
She drove by our house this April and asked about the on the For Sale sign on our lawn. she said she would like to have us over for dinner, adding that she would surely follow through, not like the last time. She e-mailed and asked what weekends we were free in May. I responded. It is June 15th and you know the rest of the story. My point is that so many beginnings are repeating themselves as endings, sort of like bookends to this Washington, Maine experience. I have to laugh, and actually, they make me feel safe, like the patterns of my life are being woven by competent hands, and they don’t belong to me.
So since the “Here’s our offer to buy your house” contract signed pending the building inspection and then the “Sorry, we can’t buy your house” [not said, but implied, we got cold feet] it has been a rocky road. And then we essentially did the same thing, put a bid in on a house in Camden only to have to back out because the truth is, we can’t afford to carry two homes. It was fun feeling like I lived in Camden for those five hours while our bid was on the table, but the greater relief was climbing back down from a limb that was too far out for us.
What do you do when you realize you have no control? Where do you put that force that wants to get things moving? Here’s my take on that. I pack! Hardest of all was coming to the decision to move. With that behind us, the going forward was easy, well, relatively speaking. So we can’t move till we sell and that sets up a stuck sort of situation. No point continuing to entertain ourselves looking at houses on-line. The solution, the only one available to my mind, was to pack,so off to Wal Mart for boxes, packing tape and markers .
We began by emptying out the cabinets and window seat benches in the family room, the repository of our children’s, and now our grand children’s toys. Those had to be boxed for the time when they would next visit and immediately run to find the ‘polly pockets’ they all love, and the Brio trains and that crazy colored plastic contraption that has the marbles passing through it. Then it’s the boxes of handmade cards from children and the store-bought one with the shaky hand writing from Grandma Hilda. All those kindnesses, what do you do with them? It is all so overwhelming. But I carry on like an armored tank operator in Afghanistan, rolling over rocky terrain, taking no prisoners, and making the call to recycle or dump. After a day, I really feel shell-shocked from all the unprocessed emotion, all the years that have sped by as I separate trash from treasure.
When I take a break, slumped on the love seat, looking out the window to the garden with the pink and purple spikes of lupine, I begin to hear my thoughts. They say to me that it doesn’t matter what I throw away, or how much of my “stuff” I purge. I am really all there is. Whatever I need, I can find inside myself. I’m ready to leave room for what ever else may interest me. That brought me comfort and was a good antidote for the loss of the way I had come to know myself in these past 30 years…the knitter, the basket maker, the dried flower collector, the crafty girl who just loved making things. I looked out the window and felt a peace in the emptying out of a life, not because it’s ending, but because it is getting ready to start again. It was a lovely moment.
If you’re still with me, you have been very patient since I have entered very few photos, but here are a few:Here is the staging area for the tag sale we hope to have July 4th. And the next photo, while small and seemingly insignificant, holds more than I have words for.
There may be a little left in me today, so I’m back in my tank and rolling towards my studio…….
Happy Father’s Day to all the Daddys here and beyond. We love you all!